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Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Maine Vacation: Labor Day

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Day 9
Monday, September 3

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We finally made it to the beach on Labor Day and boy was it the perfect day for it. Sunny and not too cold but not too hot either. Of course that meant the water was way too chilly for this (now) Florida girl to even dunk a toe in but Lily went in...if only for a few minutes. We went to Fort Popham with my sister Rachel, her girlfriend Jamie and her kids. Of course we stopped at Tim Hortons on the way and got a small pack of Timbits and a smoothie. Everyone packed a lunch and we ate at the fort then meandered around before heading to the beach. After getting a bit of a tan we drove back to Rachel and Jamie's and Rachel made dinner - perogies and salad. Yum! Later Rachel dropped us off at home and Lily's cousin Alaina was here so Lily had a great time playing with her as usual before heading to bed.

You can check out days 1-4 of our vacation here, day 5 here and days 6-8 here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our Maine Vacation: Days 6-8

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Day 6
Friday, August 31


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Lily, Reuben and I went for a walk late that afternoon. It was nice to get away just me and the kids after spending days in a small house with 8 people. It also provided me with a few special moments with my daughter since Reuben promptly fell asleep in the carrier. She held my hand and chatted about all the things we saw along the way: acorns, leaves, trees, rocks, and the "whole big" road. I've missed it just being her and I and sometimes feel like she gets ignored and put off since Reuben takes a lot of my time and attention. So it was wonderful to reconnect and focus on her for a few moments. It was also nice having those few quiet seconds since later my sister and I got into an argument and the kids and I went into town to stay with Dad for the remainder of our vacation.

Day 7
Saturday, September 1

There's nothing like being woken up by your little brother - whom you haven't seen in a few years - giving you a kiss. He's so incredibly sweet.

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Lily was up late the night before, what with having to move all of our stuff into my dad's house (in the rain no less) and staying up to visit with Grandpa and her aunts, and still woke up early that morning. So after a little bit of breakfast she laid down on the couch and went to sleep. Reuben woke up early too but even he went back to sleep after just a little bit. Dad and I chatted the entire time they were sleeping. Then Lily woke up with a high fever. She didn't eat much all day. She ended up taking another afternoon nap and then a short evening nap. My sister Maggie brought lasagna over for dinner that night and Lily got to play with her cousin Alaina. She was feeling much better by then. Reuben even got in on the playtime action watching the girls jumping on Louisa's bed. He laughed for the first time!

Day 8
Sunday, September 2

Today was the big family party at the lake. But when I woke up it was overcast and chilly. So it got changed to my sister Rachel and her girlfriend Jamie's house. I made buffalo chicken dip. Dad didn't go cause he wasn't feeling well. Lily didn't have a nap all day and boy did it show. She was cranky before we even left Dad's house (late) about 2. Then she was cranky a lot of the time we were over at Rachel and Jamie's. But she did have a bit of fun playing with the kids and eating (she didn't eat much - she still wasn't feeling 100%). Everyone had a blast eating, watching movies, and chatting. Later it cleared up and the party got moved outside. We stayed till early evening then I took the kids and my sisters Lydia and Louisa home. I put the kids to bed, Lily went right down, but Reuben took a while. The girls and I went to Walmart while Dad stayed home with the little ones. When we got home Dad was sitting with Reuben on the couch. Apparently he had woken up a little bit after we left and was inconsolable no matter what Dad tried. Dad was a good sport though and tried a bit of everything. But the boy wanted his mama. :) To end the day the girls and I stayed up late looking at pictures and watching videos on my external hard drive I brought with me to Maine.

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From top left: sister Clara, Reuben, sister Rachel's girlfriend Jamie, sister Emily's daughter Alice, brother Quinn, sister Lydia, sister Louisa, Emily's daughter Mariella (hiding), Emily's daughter Madeleine, me, Lily, sister Maggie's daughter Alaina

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Apparently I missed the act like a doofus memo

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You can check out days 1-4 of our vacation here and day 5 here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome Little One

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I realize this is a week and two days late but better late than never right?

I'd like to introduce you to the latest member of the Westling family. She's my sister Maggie and her boyfriend Will's little girl.

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Olivia Giselle Powell
September 9, 2012
7 lbs. 2 oz.
18 1/4 inches long

She's a peanut!

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Mommy and Daddy

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Big sister Alaina

*All photos except for the first one are from Maggie's Facebook page taken with her cell phone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Monday!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Maine Vacation: Goats & Ice Cream

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Continuing with the play by play of our Maine trip, here is day 5. You can catch up on days 1-4 here.

Day 5
Thursday, August 30

We had plans to go to the beach with my sister Rachel and her girlfriend Jamie that day but Jamie's daughter got sick at school so we had to pick her up and take her home where Jamie stayed with her. By that time it was already mid afternoon and Rachel had college classes that evening so we decided to stay around town and find things to do there. We drove to a local farm in Litchfield and fed the goats...or gates as Lily calls them.

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After feeding the goats we decided we were hungry and that ice cream was just the thing to hit the spot. So we drove to our favorite ice cream hot spot, BJ's Dairy Treat...or just BJ's. Rachel and I each had the it-should-be-illegal peanut butter cup with hot fudge and peanut butter sauce sundae and Lily had peanut butter ice cream with chocolate sprinkles. She has become addicted to sprinkles on this trip. Once she realized they also come on donuts there was no going back to those "regular" ones. Now its all about the sprinkles.

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There's a playground there so Lily had a great time sliding down the slide, swinging on the monkey bars (with some help from Aunt Rachel) and climbing on everything.

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I was going to hang out with Jamie that night while Rachel was in class but I fell asleep while putting my kids to bed since I was exhausted after staying up till 4:30 that morning chatting with Emily.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Our Maine Vacation: The First 4 days

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Day 1
Sunday, August 26

I'm pretty cynical about flying now. Honestly its kind of boring. Gone are the days of pure excitement just to be standing in an airport. However, as a mother I can't help but relive some of that enthusiasm when watching my 2-year-old take in all the sites and sounds around her in solemn awe.

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The flight...well both flights since we first flew into Chicago's Midway airport for a short layover before continuing on to Manchester, NH...were uneventful. Reuben fell asleep as soon as we took off and woke up upon landing each time. Even Lily took a nap with her head on my lap for the first half of the second flight. Getting up at 4 am really tires you out. I took a sticker book, crayons and a coloring book, a small magna doodle type board, and lots of snacks to keep Lily entertained the rest of the time. The most popular item? The snacks. She chowed down on pretzels, gummy fruit bites and goldfish crackers the entire time.

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She really liked flying (this was her second flight but the first one she can remember considering she first flew when she was about 2.5 weeks old) except for the parts where the plane went "up and down" - both the take off and landing and also a bit of turbulence that we experienced. That scared her a bit.

After waiting at baggage claim in Manchester - for what seemed like forever - for my sister Clara to pick us up (she got stuck in traffic), we made a quick stop at Target for diapers and McDonald's for dinner. We were hungry and wanted to get "home" as quickly as possible so fast food it was.

Our first stop in Maine was at my dad's house so he could meet both of his grandchildren for the first time.

He nearly cried when I handed Reuben over to him with a "here's your first grandson Dad." Lily refused to go to him. I think its his beard. Of course it didn't help that he met her at the door appearing larger than life, looking down at her with a big smile on his face saying "well hello there little girl." Ah yes, that's my dad. Scaring little children...all in a day's work. Haha! :)

We hung out there for a few minutes while Reuben got passed around from Grandpa to Aunts Lydia and Louisa. Then it was time to head out to my sister Emily's house in Litchfield which is where we were planning on staying for the duration of our vacation.

I met Emily's new husband Keith for the first time and got to see my sister Rachel and her girlfriend Jamie who were visiting for the evening.

Lily had fallen asleep on the short drive to Emily's so I took her cue and made it to bed before midnight to hopefully get a good night's sleep.

Day 2
Monday, August 27

Our second day in Maine was pretty low key. I wish I could have slept in but Lily decided to get up at her usual time to play with her cousins.

There was mud pie making, wagon riding and animal playing a lot that day. Did I mention my sister lives in the sticks of Maine and has a goat? Yeah, its a regular menagerie around there. There's also Oliver the Yorkshire Terrier, Celeste the pregnant cat and several thousand mosquitoes. I'm not kidding about that last part. I only wish I was. :/

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That night after dinner, Emily and I took the littlest kids and ran to Walmart for a few things. We stopped and got some ice cream first of course.

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We ran into my sister Maggie at Walmart. She's pregnant with her second daughter and due in about 1 week. She's ready now though. I remember that feeling all too well.

Reuben was having one of his cranky I-am-so-exhausted-but-I-won't-go-to-sleep nights and no matter what I tried...nursing, bouncing, carrying, rocking, shushing...he was not going to sleep. Maggie held her nephew for the first time and right there in the store he went to sleep in her arms. Isn't that how it always goes?

Lily was fussy because it was way past her bedtime. She was trying to sneak a package of grape sized tomatoes past us and then she took a bite out of an apple. I returned it to its shelf, bite side down, and we quickly checked out and went home to bed.

Day 3
Tuesday, August 28

Our third day here went the same way as the day before. Lots of playing outside, eating my sister's yummy cooking and just general lounging around the house. After a lazy afternoon I really wanted to get out of the house for a bit so I borrowed Keith's car when he got home from work and my kids and I drove into town to my dad's house for dinner.

He made his specialty - spaghetti. Yummy. Lily had second helpings. In fact she's been eating a lot more since we've been up here. I wonder if its the cooler weather.

My sister Maggie came over for dinner and brought Alaina her 5-year-old-daughter whom I'd only met once years ago when she was 2. Alaina could barely contain her excitement at finally meeting her "Baby Cousin Lily." The little girls played outside in the grass with their Aunt Lydia before dinner and made tents in their Aunt Louisa's room afterwards. They got along so well!

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Maggie, Lydia and Louisa took the little girls to get ice cream after dinner and brought some back for Dad and I. We sat in the living room, taking turns trying to get Reuben to sleep (another cranky night) and had some great conversation. I always have such an enjoyable time just sitting and chatting with my dad. He's so great to reminisce with. I always learn something new about my family history during my talks with him.

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Day 4
Wednesday, August 29

We woke that morning to a chill in the air so I bundled my two up all morning long. It quickly warmed up though and ended up being a gorgeous day so Emily and I took all of our kids for a walk in the afternoon.

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Days 5+ coming soon!